1: The Number of People It Takes to Make a Difference

Collective Action for Safe Spaces - ending street harassment in DC


It’s 2016. DC public schools offer classes on healthy relationships of which a few lesson plans discuss public sexual harassment and assault. WMATA and area transportation agencies have cutting edge public service announcements addressing bystander accountability and perpetrator consequences for sexual harassment and assault. To get a liquor license, bars and restaurants are strongly encouraged to take a sexual assault prevention training, and most bars voluntarily go through additional training for staff. Regardless of where you live, what you look like, who you love, you are able to walk down your block to catch a cab, jump on the bus, ride your bike without someone(s) harassing you. 

Imagine that.

I can say, without any puffing, that we are getting close to that world everyday when we start a dialogue with our colleagues, friends during Sunday brunch, a teacher or faith leader, mom, or our partner about street harassment. It happens when we push ourselves to use techniques on bystander intervention like those learned at our workshops. We inch closer when we report harassment to Metro, even though you’ve been let down by a Metro employee’s reaction in the past — but you now you report because you don’t want it to continue.

You’re doing it. And because of you, we are too.

Your continued faith in not only us, but in the mission to create a safer nation’s capital inspires us to give up our nights, weekends and holidays to keep moving the ball forward. For nearly four and half years, we’ve been running on community love as an all-volunteer run and led organization.

Then we hit a wall.

We needed someone to do this work as full-time as possible. As luck would have it, Zosia, Director of Community Outreach, was available for 30 hours a week, and we jumped up and down. SWEET.

That started on November 1st. Since she’s been devoting a (super) majority of her time living and breathing our mission, we’ve raised over $5,000, thanks to you.

We know. It’s a good amount. For us, it’s an abundant amount. We recognize we’re lucky. And, we recognize that every little bit matters.

We ask you to think about 2016 and help us raise another $5,000 by the end of this year. Your investment in CASS’s vision for safe spaces is guaranteed to create a ripple effect in the DC community. When people feel safe, protected and appreciated, they start planting roots, giving back and feeling accountable to the community.

If the story of our organization proves anything, it’s that a group of people — or even just one person — can make a huge impact in a large and diverse city. We think you can be that person, too. Please donate to our organization today.


This post is part of 12 Days of CASS, our  end-of-year series to highlight the work we’ve done in 2013 to prevent public sexual harassment and assault in DC.